Fes to Chefchaouen, Morocco

Written April 7, 2013

Woke to a beautiful morning in Fes. Blue skies had returned to the area just in time for the 3.5 hour drive north. The green hills we encountered on the drive to Volubilis continue throughout the trip,

Drive from Fez to Chefchaouen

Drive from Fez to Chefchaouen

becoming more rugged just outside of Chefchaouen. Although the traffic was moderately heavy and the road not in great shape with numerous pot holes, the drive was reasonably easy and well signed. Plenty of activity along the road in early spring with locals transporting loads of fodder on their back or by donkey.

Drive from Fez to Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen

The first views of Chefchaouen perched on the hillside, glowing a brilliant white with shades of blue, the color combination the town is famous for, are magical. We parked at the small square outside of Bab Souk near the top of the town and called the host at Dar Meziana from the lot to help with parking and our bags.

Dar Meziana is located at the top of the medina, a 3 minute walk up the hill from Bab Souk. The upper floor suite has great views of the medina below, especially nice in the late afternoon and when the sun first hits the medina in the morning.

terrace

Terrace

View from the terrace and upper suite

View from the terrace and upper suite

The dar has a distinctively Spanish influence with colorfully painted doors and windows. It could be a little kitschy for some, but with the warm sun shining though the large windows, it’s perfect. The pleasant terrace is decorated with potted plants and comfortable furniture. WIfi works on the terrace but not in our room.

Upper Suite

Upper Suite

Upper Suite

Upper Suite

Breakfast – the usual selection of coffee or tea and assorted bread products, jams and butter, a fried egg, yogurt, and fresh orange juice.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Dining in Chefchaouen

Aladdin – although this restaurant has views overlooking the main square in front of the Kasbah, the food is just OK. While some may like the somewhat exotic alibaba interior, I find it dark and uninviting.  We ventured from the usual mains and tried anchovy and a squid tagines. The anchovy tagine might have been good had it not been terribly overcooked and the squid tagine had tender morsels of squid in a salty tomato sauce.

Casa Hassan restaurant is rated #1 on Trip Advisor but with an incorrect location on the Trip Advisor Ipad ap. It is really located just off the main square across from Casa Hassan (hotel). The rather large interior is divided in several dining rooms painted in a light blue with a pleasant and bright atmosphere. The food while not outstanding is better than most and certainly better than at Aladdin.

Tasted the Moroccan soup and the Moroccan salad to start. While the soup was reasonably good the salad was a weird combination of a small portion of roasted pepper salad served next to a larger portion of an overly oniony pico de gallo. The mixed salad, on the other hand, is a nice combination of beets, salad greens, corn, tuna, potatoes, etc. For mains tried the chicken couscous – moist chicken breast served with vegetables over a nice couscous, the chicken kabobs – not overcooked and served with potatoes and other vegetables, and the chicken tagine with lemon and olives – too tomatoey for my tastes but otherwise OK. Service is friendly and efficient. 80 dirham for 3 courses.

Chicken Kebobs

Chicken Kebobs

Chicken Tajine

Chicken Tajine

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